The blessed month of Rabi’ al-Awwal is a month that is significant to Muslims around the world. According to most reports, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born this month and also passed away this month. Some Muslims across the world celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) which is also known as Mawlid or Milad depending on the region you are from. For many, the month holds much significance and importance along with the other important months of the Islamic Hijri Calendar.
The word “Rabi’ al-Awwal” translates to “the first spring” in Arabic with “Rabi’” meaning spring and “al-Awwal” meaning the first. The month however is not related to the spring season. Following the Islamic Hijri Calendar, the month naturally falls at different times of the Gregorian Calendar year.
The third month in the Islamic Hijri Calendar after Muharram and Safar, Rabi’ al-Awwal is a month that is closely linked to the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
One of the main reasons why the month of Rabi’ al Awwal is seen to be one of the most significant months in the Islamic Hijri Calendar is the birth of Prophet Muhammad SAW. Known as many different names across the world, Mawlid is the observance by some Muslims of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
This year, 2021, it is expected to fall on the evening of 18 October (12 Rabi' al Awwal 1443).
Though it is widely accepted to be on 12 Rabi’ al Awwal, the date has seen much debate with major differences in opinion. When taking the various views from historians and experts in this field, it is regarded that the date of birth of the Prophet (SAW) is between and including 8 Rabi’ al Awwal to 12 Rabi’ al Awwal. The precise date is unknown, Allah SWT knows best.
One thing that is agreed upon was that the Prophet (SAW) was born in Makkah on a Monday in the month of Rabi’ al Awwal.
When the Messenger of Allah (SAW) was asked about fasting on Mondays. He replied, “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received Revelation.”
[Sahih Muslim (1162)]
The birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to be this small building near the Kaaba in Makkah. Today, the building has been converted into a library.
Image Credit: Still from Umrah Hajj on Youtube
Another significant event that happened during the month of Rabi’ al awwal is the Hijrah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) with his companion Abu Bakr (RA) from Makkah to Madinah. The same Hijrah that the Islamic Hijri Calendar was based on.
This hijrah was a significant event in Islamic History as it was also when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) united the tribes of Yathrib which later became Madinah, one of the holiest places on Earth, a Haramayn.
On their journey to Yathrib, or as we know it now, Madinah, Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and his companion Abu Bakr (RA) also built the first-ever masjid. Located in the town of Quba, the masjid is still standing today.
Rabi’ al Awwal was also a sad month for Muslims because on a Monday, 12th Rabi’ al Awwal 11 AH, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) passed away. It has been reported that even though the Prophet’s (SAW) passing was expected because of his illness, it was still shocking and a calamity for the ummah.
Rabi’ al Awwal is a great time to remember and be grateful for the blessing that is Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to guide us all to the one true path. Even though there are no specific deeds recommended during Rabi’ al Awwal, perhaps reciting and understanding the Quran is a great way to get to know our beloved Prophet (SAW) better.
…I said to Aisha (RA), “O mother of the believers, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.” Aisha (RA) said, “Have you not read the Quran?” I said, “Of course.” Aisha (RA) said, “Verily, the character of the Prophet of Allah was the Quran.”.
[Sahih Muslim (746)]
Another way is to read the Al-Seerat an-Nabawiyyah / Seerat or the biographies of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to really strengthen the love for Islam and our iman.
Let us follow the advice of our beloved Prophet (SAW) and may Allah (SWT) give us ease and guidance to perform our ibadah and forgive our sins. In Shaa Allah.